Hosted by the Grand Street Business Improvement District (BID), the annual summer celebration helped ring in the warm weather with live music, art shows and games for the entire family.
In addition to celebrating the first installment of the block party – with the second on June 28 from 2 to 8 p.m. - BID director Artineh Havan also joined the Green School and Ellie Balk to unveil a mural at the corner of Grand Street and Graham Avenue.
“The students of Green School and Ellie Balk have done a great job creating a lively mural,” Havan said. “It adds value to Grand Street by artfully blending the values and truths of math, education, and community.”
Nathan Affield, assistant principal of the Green School at 223 Graham Ave., has worked with students for the last month on painting the math-inspired design.
“Although digits of pi extend infinitely without repetition. Space confines force us to extend as many digits as possible and let the viewers imagination do the rest,” Affield said. “This year we used a two-dimensional line graph in which each of the points represent the quantities of the digits as both positive and negative values reflecting the line graph image over the x-axis to create something that looks like a sound wave.”
The students also painted the design based on patterns of prime numbers appearing in pi.
“Because of the central location and proximity to the B43 stop, the community was involved at every stage of the process,” Affield said. “During our community day, Green School alumni, staff and their families worked to paint the brightly-colored design.“
Many businesses located throughout the street fair - like Fresthetic at 552 Grand St. – helped to pitch in as they met with dozens of residents.
Owner Omar Cordero said special events like block parties and pub crawls hosted by the BID have played a key role in raising the visibility of the corridor.
“It’s really good to get these people to come out and see what’s here,” Cordero said. “We get a chance to see people who don’t usually see us.”
Fresthetic put together an outdoor domino game in front of the store and invited passersby in to check out their supply of t-shirts, shoes, bags and jewelry.
“These events are just really good and we’re glad it’s back on this side of the street,” he said.
Armando Quenes was born and raised in Williamsburg and said he is happy to see the engagement from the community, both new and old.
“There’s a lot of new people here now, so it gets them to join up and get to know each other,” he said. “It’s great.”
Thinking back to the history of abandoned buildings and gangs throughout the community, he added that he is hopeful for the future of his home.
“It’s cool that it’s happening,” he said. “It’s a little rough on the people who have lived here because although it is getting better they’re getting priced out, but you can’t have both.”